Guskiewicz said the University plans to expand COVID-19 testing for next semester — but a final plan has yet to be announced.
“Let me just say that we're looking at a lot of options,” he said. “Everything's on the table. I think it's safe to say that there will be an expanded testing program from what existed this semester, regardless of what decisions are made regarding in-person teaching and learning and residential living.”
Committee member Tom Kelley said that while he thinks the University has done a good job with transparent messaging to UNC community members, he has noticed "conspiracy theories" over who influenced the University's testing policies.
Kelley said when the University announces its testing protocols, the communication about the protocols and where the recommendation came from should be clear.
Committee member Rohit Ramaswamy also expressed concern for how the community perceives the University's preparedness for the spring semester.
“There's a lot of this sense around that we will still be no more ready in January than we were in August,” Ramaswamy said. “I think that being very clear about what is different in spring, what we have learned of course, but also, what is different about the environment?”
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis then asked Guskiewicz what other universities UNC is looking to as a model for next semester. Guskiewicz said the University is considering how other schools in the UNC System as well as across the country have remained open.
While Guskiewicz did not give a conclusive answer about spring reopening, he said he was happy with student progress in upholding the community COVID-19 guidelines.
“I think the students are responding to the call to stand up to what they signed onto with the community standards,” he said. “I think we've made great progress there. There's still more work to be done.”
Here's what the Advisory Committee discussed at its last meeting.